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Tough water restrictions leveled on Rancho Santa Fe residents

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SAN DIEGO – Rancho Santa Fe is now under some of the toughest water restrictions in San Diego County.

“We’re in this together and we all need to be able to conserve water,” said Santa Fe Irrigation District spokeswoman Jessica Parks.

Starting Monday, Level 3 water restrictions went in effect limiting residents to 10 minutes of irrigation per watering station - only two days a week.

“If you’re found watering on a day you’re not allowed, you will receive a notice and you will receive a fine,” said Parks.

Fines can up to $1,000 a day. Parks also added if resident do not comply after being fined, the water district can place flow restrictors on meters, which would cut the water supply.

The Santa Fe Irrigation District asked customers to cut back their water use since September.

“We have not seen a reduction in water use, we’ve seen an increase,” said Parks.

Parks said part of the problem with enforcement was the district could not reach its customers.

“It is a lot of gated communities, gated properties and we’re not able to see if they are in compliance,” said Parks.

Santa Fe Irrigation District also took it one step further with approving allocations starting July 1. Each house, no matter the size of the property will be allotted the same amount of water.

“After that, we’re going to ask for a 45 percent cutback on outdoor usage,” said Parks. “The state has put a 36 percent reduction on us, we have to meet that.”

“I turned off the water when we had this little last rain storm,” said Janie Scallon.

Since last week’s storm, Scallon’s lawn has gone from green to brown.

“I know, I know,” said Janie, shaking her head.

Scallon has been doing her best to conserve on her own.

“We scaled it down to twice a week, 10 minutes each watering,” said Scallon.

“Gosh, I just don’t know how much more I can do.”

Scallon said no matter how difficult, she’d work to conserve more.

“We’ll just have to think of something else,” said Scallon. “What else can we do? We’re in a drought and that’s it.”